I’d never been to a Sorry Day event before, and I didn’t know much about it. But it’s an important day for Bonnie’s, so this year, on Thursday 26 May, the staff took a day away from our desks. We bundled into a few cars and drove down to Liverpool Regional Museum to remember the Stolen Generations.
It was such a powerful experience for me. In high school I had learnt about the Stolen Generations in history. But at the event I could feel that for the people there it wasn’t just history, but a continued presence in the community. I was confronted and moved by people’s personal stories. I felt great sorrow for the injustices experienced by so many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
One story that really impacted me was this memory from a Stolen Child:
I couldn’t help but think about my own family when I read this plaque – my own mother and what it would have been like to have her family taken away by the mere fact of their race. We all have families. We are all somebody’s son or daughter, brother or sister. Some of us are even parents. When we read that plaque, we all felt the impact that forced separation from our loved ones could have on our own lives.
But the Sorry Day event we attended had hope and healing in it too. There was a sculpture in Royal Botanical Gardens at Mt Annan. It showed an Aboriginal family. Leading away from the sculpture were the footprints of a small child being taken away… and then there were large footprints walking back, the son returning to his family as a grown man.
Going to my first Sorry Day with my colleagues at Bonnie’s was great – it’s really important to us that we show our support for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities – and it definitely won’t be my last.
Written by Lucy